Since he took the job amid sudden turmoil in September, Joe Mazzulla has leaned on his gamers. He relied on them as they found out tips on how to flip the web page and go on a historic begin. So, even after they hit their first tough patch of the season, the rookie head coach didn’t stray from that philosophy.
He knew they’d been right here – and even in worse conditions – earlier than.
“In moments like this, you trust your players because of who they are and what they’ve been through,” Mazzulla repeated on Friday, a line he knew he stated after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers.
On Friday night time, his gamers rewarded his religion once more.
After a hunch that lasted almost two weeks, one which peaked with boos from their residence followers on Wednesday, the Celtics took a desperately wanted step ahead. They didn’t shoot the ball nicely from deep once more. There have been nonetheless just a few lapses. It wasn’t excellent – removed from it. But they lastly acquired again within the win column with a 121-109 victory over the Timberwolves, snapping a three-game shedding streak and ending a slide during which they misplaced 5 of six.
Jaylen Brown scored a game-high 36 factors – together with 23 within the fourth quarter, one during which he and his teammates lastly awakened. Jayson Tatum had 30. Al Horford had considered one of his greatest video games on each ends, as he hit 5 3-pointers and added robust protection. Derrick White, sporting a contemporary haircut, broke out of his latest funk with 18 factors on all two-pointers. Marcus Smart returned with 10 assists. It was a full group effort.
And so far as video games in December go, that is one the Celtics wanted to have.